BJP defends Narendra Modi over targeting Centre


Defending Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for criticising the Centre during his poll campaign, BJP today said had the UPA government not discriminated against Gujarat, the state would have progressed much more rapidly.

"It is important to highlight the Centre's discrimination towards the state. It is the duty of the Union government to treat every state equally. Had they done so, Gujarat would have progressed more," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman told reporters when asked why Modi was speaking on national issues during his campaign ahead of the Assembly polls. Sitaraman is touring the state to train BJP members ahead of the Gujarat assembly polls.

"Development work done by the state government will be the main poll plank of the BJP in the coming elections. The state witnessed a good stride in agriculture, services and industrial sectors, showing a balanced growth and it needs to be highlighted in the poll campaign," she said.

When asked on Modi's remarks about Union minister Shashi Tharoor's wife Sunanda Pushkar, Sitaraman said, "Gujarat chief minister intended to highlight the corruption angle in it. Question are still there on why the sweat equity was given. Congress has not given the answer to it."

Tharoor had quit as Minister of State for External Affairs amid allegations that he had sought "sweat equity" for Pushkar in the Kochi IPL team in 2010.

On the controversy over BJP president Nitin Gadkari's statement that the IQ level of Swami Vivekananda and Dawood Ibrahim were the same, she said, "He meant to say that God gifted skills can be utilised in the right direction as well as for wrong reasons."

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